The Master’s degree in "Land and Agricultural Sciences" provides professionals in sustainable management of agricultural systems. Its main topics are Crop Production and Protection, and Social Agriculture. These deal with the current drivers of change regarding agricultural institutions, environmental awareness, innovation processes aimed towards an inclusive society and intelligent and sustainable growth (these goals are consistent with the European Research Programme Agenda 2030).
The Master’s course runs over 2 years: the first year includes some common lectures and different training areas, which are then developed through the second year. The common lectures focus on the following topics: land agronomy; weed and tree crop cultivation systems; nursery and biotechnology; agricultural economics and policy; genetic improvements and engineering; biodiversity management; landscape protection; and pesticide chemistry. Starting from this common knowledge, the students are then able to deepen specific subjects and enhance different specific training areas in the second year of the Master’s.
For the Crop Production and Protection curriculum, further topics concern qualitative and quantitative improvement of agricultural production, through innovative technologies, such as in wine growing, olive growing, and fruit-bearing and horticultural crops. Across these different species, the Master’s course provides in-depth analysis that is focused on both traditional and innovative propagation techniques, respecting genetic and health quality guarantees in the framework of EU legislation. In addition, topics such as viticulture, olive growing, plant protection, biology and integrated control will be studied in relation to environmental issues (climate, soil) and human health (food quality and safety).
For the Social Agriculture curriculum, the Master’s course provides interdisciplinary training activities that are aimed at acquiring zootechnical competence together with knowledge of sociology, psychiatry and psychology. This multifunctional perspective is useful for the management of small productive realities to foster societal inclusion of disadvantaged people. Students in Social Agriculture will develop technical skills and soft skills to cope with the complex management of agricultural companies. These enterprises are involved in social services (in rural and peri-urban areas) for children and old people (agriculture for the kindergarden, summer training camps, social and urban gardens). They deal with the use of social employment as therapy for people with physical or mental distress, and in general, for disadvantaged categories. Therefore, the course addresses in-depth issues, to understand the local social dynamics and to foster active participation with and relationships among people with different competences regarding social agriculture.
The scientific sectors SPS/09 “Sociology of economic and job processes”, MED/25 “Psychiatry” and M-PSI/05 “Social psychology” are then necessary for training the agronomists to relate to different stakeholders in social agriculture, such as disadvantaged people and different professionals involved in the management of methods of social inclusion.
PERSPECTIVES AND SKILLS
- manager of public bodies and private companies in the agricultural sector;
- professional adviser, as private professional/ consultant, with reference to different technical and economic aspects of the agricultural sector;
- management of bodies involved in quality control of agricultural products;
- manager or collaborator in organizations that deal with natural heritage (national parks and natural reserves);
- manager of public services for territory and natural resources (Region, Mountain Community);
- Inspector of the National Phytosanitary Service, which verifies the application of phytosanitary norms, carries out phytosanitary and surveillance checks, and develops systematic surveys;
- provider of consultancy services in national or international bodies for aid programmes in developing countries;
- researchers in public institutions (e.g., universities, CRA, CNR, ENEA) and private companies;
- official in credit and/or insurance institutions, dealing with banking and insurance activities for the agricultural sector;
- school teacher (after obtaining a teaching qualification);
- agronomist and forest doctor (after professional qualification).
Skills related to the function
Graduates in the Master’s in “Land and Agricultural Sciences” will be able to perform professional roles thanks to their skills in the following topics:
- agriculture production processes consistent with environmental measures and sustainable agricultural systems;
- design and construction of parks and gardens;
- energy production and recovery systems;
- experts in the management of protected areas, biodiversity and landscape protection and management;
- experts with specific skills in agricultural plant production and on their defence in the field and postharvest;
- experts in phytosanitary control of nursery and seed production.
The Master's in “Land and Agricultural Sciences” offers the possibility of accessing the following job opportunities as a consultant/ freelancer or as a company employee:
- Public bodies (Ministries, Regional and Provincial Councils, Professional Category Associations, Regional Plant Health Services);
- Private companies operating in the sectors of agricultural machinery construction, agrochemical industry and bioenergy;
- Producers Associations;
- Laboratories performing physical, chemical and biological analysis services;
- National and international governmental and non-governmental organizations that operate in the agricultural sector for aid programmes to countries in transition and under development (e.g., FAO; World Bank)